Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Rodeo cruelty: Horrific death of bull at Pukemanu Bullride

Rodeo cruelty: Horrific death of bull at Pukemanu Bullride

By Lynley Tulloch

On Friday 2 February a bull lost his life at the Pukemanu Bullride in Martinborough. It wasn’t a glorious death. Spectators say he bellowed and salivated, clearly distressed as he lay on the ground. He had broken his leg and was in extreme pain. He dragged himself out of the ring and was euthanised.

This bull died in a state of pain, fear, and terror. He was reportedly a rising three-year-old, in the prime of his life.

No animal, or human for that matter, should die like this. Death comes to us all, but we certainly don’t want our last minutes on Earth to be filled with horror. Even worse is the fact that he died for the entertainment of people.

This bull died in what is described by the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association as “one of New Zealand’s most exciting and thrilling sports”. My understanding of sport is one where individuals and teams compete against each other with the aid of inanimate objects like balls. There is an element of consent between the parties and an agreement about the rules. But with rodeo the bull is not considered as a subject worthy of due care. In my view, when you use an animal as fodder for your sport I think you are on ethically questionable grounds.

My position is this: animals should not be used as objects for entertainment or sport. They are sentient beings – meaning that they feel the same range of emotions that humans do, and with just as much intensity. They are aware of their existence. We shouldn’t poke them with sharp spurs, put flank straps on them or sit on them for a required eight seconds while they wind themselves into a frenzy. This scares the bull terribly and can result in injuries such as a broken leg.

Yet at rodeos the animals pain is dismissed. The National spokesman for the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Associations Michael Laws rejects claims of suffering through reference to the Rodeo Code of Welfare. It’s a bit like a reverse story of the Emperor’s new clothes. The cruelty at rodeo is supposed to be invisible because Michael Law’s says its not there. "We're very satisfied that animals are well protected and well regarded."

It never fails to amaze me that the public is supposed to swallow that line. Rodeos are clearly cruel to anyone who is sensitive to animal suffering. Steers are wrestled and have their necks twisted 180 degrees, calves are chased and roped and tied up; and bulls have their legs broken after being forced to buck with a man on their back.

And yet rodeo is touted as family entertainment. This is horrifying as it results in the desensitisation of children to animal cruelty.

I have no doubt that riding a bull requires a certain amount of athletic prowess. I have attended a Bullride once and have seen the incredible balance and skill that the cowboys possess.

But I was most unimpressed with the clear suffering the bulls were experiencing. I love bovines and have spent that last four years raising a small number of rescue bobby calves. I have seen them grow up into playful and affectionate adult animals. They possess a dignity and sensitivity unparalleled by any other animal I have known.

Bovines are magical beings with sensitive natures. They don’t deserve to be used to test the sporting agility of ‘cowboys’. Which brings me to another point. The people who participate at rodeo are not real cowboys. A cowboy is someone who works cattle on a ranch from horseback and practices good stockmanship. As veterinarian and previous bronco rider Dr. Peggy Larson has said: “Rodeos have nothing to do with good stockmanship or farming practice. Farmers aim to handle their animals in a manner that causes the least amount of stress to the animals, whilst rodeo riders do the opposite.”

The suffering of the bull with the broken leg was sad and shocking. It is not right to see an animal suffer under the banner of sport or entertainment.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Legal Issues: Gordon Campbell On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

Yesterday’s interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public.

Apoparently, the fuel industry is an oligopoly where the Big Three (BP, Mobil and Z) that import 90% of this country’s fuel also control the supply, pricing, profit margins etc etc, from wharf to petrol pump, thereby all but throttling genuine competition at every stage along the way. More>>

 

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels